Pita Resigns as MFP Leader, Making Way for a New Opposition Leader

Pita Limjaroenrat couldn’t be the prime minister; he couldn’t even be the leader of the opposition.

A popular politician has announced his resignation from the post of Move Forward Party (MFP) leader. The decision was taken on September 15 after the party won the elections but was unable to form a government due to opposition from various old power groups, and Pita himself faced legal problems related to media involvement during the election campaign.

Pita stated in his statement that the role of “leader of the opposition” is crucial to the parliamentary system under the current constitution and should fall to the leader of the main opposition party. He said that since he would not be able to fill this role in the near future, he had decided to resign so that another party member who is a member of parliament could assume the role.

Pita Limjaroenrat, right, the leader of Move Forward Party and Chaitawat Tulathon, the party’s general secretary, reacts during vote counting at the Parliament, in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, July 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

He stated, “I have discussed with the party executive and MPs and I see that the role of the leader of the opposition is of utmost importance to the parliamentary system. It should be the responsibility of the Move Forward Party to guide the balance of power of the government and push for efficient changes that are still lacking in the government’s policies.”


However, Pita mentioned that he will continue to play a political role, including participating in party activities and supporting the party’s efforts. This includes a large gathering of the party and its supporters on September 24 at the Sports Authority of Thailand building (SAT) in Din Daeng, Bangkok.

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FILE: Pita Limjaroenrat and the MFP’s MPs waved to the media in Parliament on July 13, 2023. (Khaosod Photo)

Pita became a member of the House of Representatives in 2020 under the Future Forward Party, which was later dissolved by the Constitutional Court. Despite premature media reports similar to the allegations against Pita, he rose to become leader of the Move Forward Party in 2020 and played a prominent role in the opposition alongside the Pheu Thai Party. 

In the 2023 elections, Pita’s charismatic and progressive political personality, often referred to as “Pita-mania,” received strong support, making the Move Forward Party the most successful party with 151 seats.

Although Pita missed the chance to become prime minister this time, his supporters still call him “prime minister in the hearts of the people”

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Pita’s supporters still call him “prime minister in the hearts of the people.”

According to news reports, the Move Forward Party had convened several meetings to find a solution for the post of opposition leader, with the majority of deputies believing that the party should take on the role.

It is widely expected that Chaitawat Tulathon, the party’s general secretary, will take over the position, as he played a key role in the party’s campaign strategies and policies during the last election.

Padipat Santipada

In addition, under the provisions of the Constitution, Padipat Santipada must resign from his position as First Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives if a member of the MFP is the leader of the opposition.

Padiphat stated on Friday that a new party executive committee must be selected on September 23 following Pita’s resignation as party leader. Therefore, he will await the outcome of the upcoming executive committee meeting before deciding on this matter.